Spas We Love: Margaret Dabbs Foot Spa at The Bulgari Spa
The Bulgari is the ultra-swanky, ultra-chic, ultra-luxurious new hotel in Knightsbridge - and as you might expect, the spa has a Shard-high pamper-factor. Showcasing ESPA products and treatments (among our long-term favourites), the lure on this particular occasion was a medical pedicure from one of Margaret Dabbs's podiatrists. We are devoted to these medi-pedis, which keep feet healthy and smooth as marble.
In this instance, the treatment was something to make any time-and-motion man happy. Jo's toes were treated (toenails trimmed, hard skin removed with a scalpel (then whisked with one of Margaret's signature Superior Foot Files AND polished with a whirring foot-buffer - before slightly embarrassing incipient toe-fungus was blitzed with tea tree oil!)
But at the same time, more glamorously, her hands got major TLC with a fantastic manicure. (It really, really lasted, NB.) Sooooo much more efficient than having one treatment, then the other...
Feet were swathed in Clingfilm for a hot emu oil deep treatment - and not only does the couch recline almost horizontal but there's the option of an oxygen mask, for the face, to boost red blood cells all over. D-e-e-p-l-y relaxing, the whole experience.
Polish is optional - but we do always opt for it, and Jo trotted out with feet that remain baby-soft, with barely a (micro)chip in the polish well over a fortnight later. The 'twin' treatments are most definitely luxe-priced - but foot-upkeep is something we'd pay for out of our 'health and wellbeing' cocoa tin, rather than the one marked 'frivolous pampering'. (Of course these cocoa tins don't really exist, but such is feminine financial logic.) As we've said before, and we'll say again: happy feet make a happy woman).
Elsewhere in the minimalist spa - that's a real onyx reception desk you can glimpse, by the way - there's a Bodyism gym, an indoor pool, steam rooms and lots of sleek, wood-panelled treatment rooms. And though it looks super-swish, the welcome's actually very friendly.
A treatment here would be an absolutely fantastic gift. (Even if it's a gift to yourself.)